Olivia’s Top Three: Arts, Crafts and Coffee


Welcome to a new summer series! This summer I’m exploring Western New York (again) and each Friday I’ll be sharing my top three picks for weekend activities in the area. 


First on my list this weekend is Public Espresso (priorities, right?). I started following this coffee place a while ago on Instagram, and everything they serve looks amazing. They also offer treats from a variety of area bakeries, including my very favorite Elm Street. It’s located in the Hotel Lafayette in Buffalo. One thing that they recommend is the uber-trendy cold brew, which I would like to start making at home.


While I’m enjoying coffee, the Boyfriend–who I guess is now the fiance? Weird. Maybe I’ll just call him Rick, which is his name. 

…anyway, he loves biking and renewable energy, and wants to participate in the Buffalo World Naked Bike Ride. This is an event where people ride bikes around the city wearing little to no clothing, ostensibly to show their support for not being dependent on oil, etc. This is 100 percent not my style, but I am young and foolish so I will go and watch. Photos to come…maybe.


Lastly, the Roycroft Campus is a centerpiece of East Aurora and a National Historic Landmark (I think). It’s now offering tablet tours, which are slightly cheaper than guided tours and self-paced, and I’d like to try one this weekend. I’m looking forward to learning more about what the Roycroft actually is.

(What I know: it’s a really pretty and architecturally fascinating part of town; Elbert Hubbard and his wife died in the Lusitania sinking; Elbert was pretty quotable and his words appear on a lot of the trash cans around town. What I think: it’s the home of a commune that was the beginning of the Arts and Crafts movement, an important phase in America that has nothing to do with paint and glitter glue.)


Relevant: Billy and Pat.

Also: follow me on Twitter and Insta for regular updates about my adventures.

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#NYCin3Words: Ten Dollar Cookie (also: chocolate world)

It was a long, long week, so last night, I turned to chocolate. 

Namely, Max Brenner’s Chocolate World, a fairly well-known restaurant that was on my NYC bucket list and that I’d never visited.

chocolate worldLet me clarify something about this restaurant for you: THERE IS CHOCOLATE PLUMBING ON THE CEILING.

So that’s very exciting. What was not exciting was the fact that everything was slightly overpriced, namely the chocolate-chip cookie for $9.95, which only in New York would be seen as even somewhat acceptable. This reminded me of the #NYCin3Words hashtag, which has been trending for a couple of days and is worth spending a little time scrolling through. It’s always interesting to see what people have to say.

max brenner chocolateAnyway, back to the restaurant review.

Max Brenner was interesting, a little too touristy (lines were out the door the entire time we were there, and the wait sans reservation was about 90 minutes), and a little too expensive for my taste.

chocolate towers yumHowever, the fondue-for-two, which we split among three, was fantastic. Not least because it involved these “chocolate towers.”

fondue for twoIt was “European,” which apparently means it did not come with peanut butter or “tutti-frutti cake,” and delicious. There were even marshmallows and a little burner thing on which to roast them.

instagram chocolate pots yum foodMmmm.

 Takeaways: Max Brenner’s is okay. A restaurant devoted to chocolate is fantastic. I can’t afford to drink in this city. Also, I’m happy to have crossed something off the bucket list. 

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The Official NYC Bucket List



I can’t believe I probably only have seven short months left in the Greatest City in the World. Although I’m ready to move out (spending entirely too much money to share an apartment with four to six other people is getting old fast), I know there’s so much more to take advantage of, and over the next few months I hope to get a whole lot crossed off of my bucket list.

Here’s what I want to see, do, and eat in the next semester and a half:

  • The third part of the High Line. I did the first two earlier this fall with Allie, and the third segment was opened just a couple of weeks after we went!
  • The 9/11 memorial.
  • Dylan’s Candy Bar
  • Serendipity’s frozen hot chocolate
  • Max Brenner’s chocolate world
  • A rooftop bar
  • The United Nations
  • The Guggenheim, one of the only major museums I have yet to visit here
  • The Cloisters
  • St. John the Divine
  • Grimaldi’s pizzeria
  • All of the places in this Buzzfeed article
  • Go ice-skating. I like to ice-skate, but I have never gotten the chance to go here!

Stay tuned!!!

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Liv Local: S’Mac NYC

Manic Mondays with itsemmaelise
Since I’ve lived in NYC, I’ve wanted to visit S’Mac, a small local chain that sells nothing but macaroni and cheese. Seriously, does that sound great or what?!
On Halloween, I went out with two other girls to the city. Knowing the Halloween parade would be crazy, we headed to the other side of the Village for dinner, where I was able to cross two things off of my NYC bucket list, and then wandered around the parade aftermath looking at all the costumes for a while before heading home.
Guess what I was!

Guess what I was!

First up was S’Mac. I had the Mediterranean mac n cheese, which came with garlic, spinach, olives, and goat cheese. My friend had the All-American. Both were really good.

Below is my critical review:

Food: very good but very rich.

Portions: very large.

Service: subpar; the girl who took our orders was not very pleasant.

Health rating: B. We did not discover this until after. I haven’t gotten sick yet so I think it’s worth the chance.

Prices: very reasonable. I paid about $10 for the mac ‘n’ cheese and a drink.

Seating: not adequate enough. If you can take out takeout I recommend it!

Next up in Living Local NYC: Big Gay Ice Cream!!!!

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